Just as the last Canadian soldiers deployed in Afghanistan returned home today, news emerged that two soldiers took their own lives.
Cpl. Alain Lacasse, 43, was found dead in his home Monday afternoon in Valcartier, Que.
Police said that because Lacasse’s death was a suicide, they are not giving out any details about what took place.
Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) also confirmed that another soldier in Ontario, Master Cpl. Tyson Washburn, was found dead over the weekend.
Washburn, who was from The 1st Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment in Pembroke, Ont. died on Saturday, March 15.
Officials are not releasing any details, but CBC News has learned that Washburn appears to have taken his own life.
“The death did not take place on DND property and is currently under investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police. As such, it is inappropriate for us to comment on the investigation,” DND Spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said in a statement.
Both men served in Afghanistan
Officials say Washburn, who joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2006 as a cook, had one deployment in Afghanistan between July to October 2010.
Meanwhile Lacasse, who was a member of the Third Battalion of the 22nd Royal Regiment — also known as the Van Doos — served tours of duty in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Cpl. Lacasse’s last deployment was in Afghanistan from July 2007 to February 2008, where he was stationed near Kandahar to take part in patrols.
According to reports, Lacasse encountered some close calls. Just a few days before the end of his mission, Lacasse was riding in a vehicle when a suicide bomber jumped in front of the car.
The vehicle exploded, but no one was injured.
In December, Cpl. Sylvain Lelièvre was found dead in the basement of his residence. He had taken his own life. Like Lacasse, Lelièvre participated in various missions abroad, including Bosnia and Afghanistan.
In November, three other Canadian veterans who had served in Afghanistan were found dead within in a week. They had taken their own lives.
Support for soldiers
Spouses of military personnel are calling on the federal government to offer more support to soldiers upon their return from a tour of duty abroad.
“I ask myself what it will take for people in Ottawa to wake up … the soldiers really need help. We must stop hiding it,” said Marie-Josée Huard, president of the Association of Canadian Military Spouses.